Upcoming Conference: Society for Ecological Restoration, SW Chapter
Registration is still available for the upcoming annual meeting of the Society for Ecological Restoration, SW Chapter in Tucson, AZ from Friday November 20th to Sunday November 22nd. The SW Chapter’s mission is to foster a network of resource specialists with interest and expertise in restoring desert and other arid ecosystems and to promote the exchange of knowledge, awareness, and collaborative opportunities as a means of sustaining the diversity of life on Earth and reestablishing an ecologically healthy relationship between nature and culture.
This year’s conference will feature sessions in the following topic areas:
- Fire Effects: Restoration of Watersheds and Springs (workshop offered for Friday, November 20th)
- Utilities Panel
- Plants & Pollinators
- Collaborative Watershed Restoration
- Wetland Restoration
- River Restoration – Flows and Monitoring
Past and present Borderlands Restoration employees will be presenting in the conference, as detailed below.
On Sunday the 22nd, conference participants have the option to tour BR’s Native Plant Nursery with manager Francesca Claverie and learn about its role in the Madrean Archipelago Plant Propagation Center, a collaborative effort between BR, the Bureau of Land Management, and the National Park Service.
Molly McCormick: How Much is Enough: Lessons from Native Plant Restoration in support of Hummingbirds in Southern Arizona
The Sky Island region of Southern Arizona is biologically diverse, but how do we assess its ecological health amongst seeming abundance? In this 3 year restoration and monitoring project, we discovered gaps between hummingbird and flower phenology, and worked to restore landscapes to fill in those gaps. Results showed that at one site, 40 plants per acre made a significant impact to forage available for hummingbirds during crucial times of year. This project shows that targeted restoration efforts and pollinator gardens can have a big impact to the health of pollinators. Read more: Nectar Landscape Analysis.
Caleb Weaver: The Youth Restoration Movement in Patagonia, AZ.
Caleb will introduce participants to the Borderlands Earth Care Youth Institute and how it has shaped the youth restoration movement in Patagonia, AZ. The institute boasts over 25 graduates over the 3 years of its existence, with many return members, as well as a strong relationship with the Windsong Peace and Leadership Center, near Patagonia Lake State Park. In 2015 the program grew to include a second institute in Douglas, AZ, as well as an entrepreneurial development program in Patagonia, AZ. The BECY program has become a foundational pillar of Borderlands Restoration and the restoration economy in the Mountain Empire. Read more: BECY Institute
Ron Pulliam: Did the increase is Lehmann lovegrass cause the decline of grassland sparrows in the Sonoita Plains?
Lehmann lovegrass (Eragrostis lehmanniana) increased an average of 300% from 2003-04 to 2013-14 on 16 study plots in the Sonoita Plains. Several species of grassland sparrows declined dramatically during the same period. Available evidence strongly points to a causal relationship between Lehmann lovegrass increase and grassland sparrow decline in the Sonoita Plains. Strategies for limiting the spread and dominance of lovegrass and increasing the ability of grassland sparrows to persist in the face of the lovegrass invasion will be discussed.
For more information, visit the conference’s website.